Olmsted Falls is one of those railfanning spots that is well known by many locals, but which tends to be overshadowed by the better known and “patronized” Berea a few minutes away.
The advantage of going to Berea is that you get CSX traffic as well as the Norfolk Southern’s Chicago Line. But I like Olmsted Falls because there tends to be fewer people there and you can easily get on both sides of the tracks to take advantage of whatever lighting conditions may exist.
On a recent Sunday, I went to the Falls to catch a very late running Amtrak No. 49. While I got “bonus coverage” when NS 8100 (the Nickel Plate Road heritage locomotive) led the 20W past. I covered both of those trains in earlier coverage.
This post is devoted to a few other trains that I captured while waiting for Amtrak No. 49.
I begin with three images of an eastbound coal train. Although not as flashy or “glamorous” as a passenger train or a train led by an H unit, I thought this train reflects the heritage of the Norfolk & Western of hauling coal from the West Virginia mountains.
I converted these photos to black and white because the flat lighting conditions resulted in muted colors. But I also did it because, well, certain trains just seem to call for being in a black and white world. A coal train is one of them.
As I watched car after car roll past with the term “high top” on them, I kept thinking about high top sneakers, which were popular in my younger days. If I recall, those were black and white. If memory serves me correctly, this train carried symbol 412.
There always seems to be an outlier in every group and so it was with this train.There was one “low top” hopper car in the consist.
A while after the passage of the 412 came another coal train, this one carrying symbol 417. The Toledo East dispatcher told this train to pace itself going west because it would soon come to a halt behind a 15N that was stopped ahead.
NS was single tracking for 18 miles west of CP 218 and the 417 would spend several hours waiting for a route and be passed by at least one train, which was carrying a load of empty crude oil tankers.
Another feature of Olmsted Falls is that it lies beneath the final approach path of runways 6R and 6L at nearby Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
When air traffic is landing on those runways, as it was on Sunday, you get nice close-up views of the planes. Air traffic in and out of Cleveland isn’t what it used to be following the closing this year of the United Airlines hub that had been built by Continental Airlines. United still, though, operates the most daily flights from CLE.
I was standing by my car between trains and planes when I looked over and saw two small convertibles following each other northbound on Brookside Drive.
I wasn’t in a good position to photograph both of them with the zoom lens I had on my camera at the time. The best I could do was this going away shot of the second of the two. I don’t know what make or model this is, but I’m sure this guy enjoyed toolin’ around town in his toy.